photo by author

Every year,
monsoon winds arrive, soaking
the dusty, parched valley floor
faraway, hills tumble down to meet the river
outside, the galli becomes a rivulet
inside, the family of three start
their annual rain dance of
carefully choreographed steps
with pots and pans and old paint cans
placing them here, there, everywhere
moving them, again and again
to catch the heavenfall
in drops and drips before
they hit the mud floor, before
the room becomes river
soaking clothes and curtains
and books galore

Next year,
next year will be different
we say,
waiting for a few sheets of corrugated steel
yet another year

(Included in the Bronx Memoir Project Volume V — 2021, published by Bronx Council on the Arts)